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Purpleheart Hardwood Flooring: Beauty, Durability, and Care

Posted on August 12, 2023

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The Unique Allure of Purpleheart in Hardwood Flooring

When it comes to hardwood flooring options, homeowners often gravitate towards traditional choices like oak, maple, or walnut. However, those in the know are increasingly turning their attention to more exotic woods to provide both functionality and a unique aesthetic. Among the myriad of choices available, Purpleheart stands out not only for its stunning hue but also for its strength and durability. Let’s delve deeper into why Purpleheart might be the perfect choice for your next flooring project.

The Origins of Purpleheart

Purpleheart, scientifically named Peltogyne, is predominantly sourced from Central and South America, especially from the rich, dense forests of Brazil and Guyana. It’s a tropical hardwood, meaning it thrives in rainforest environments. This unique upbringing contributes to its distinctive characteristics, most notably its colour.

Aesthetic Appeal: The Unmistakable Purple Hue

True to its name, Purpleheart wood is best known for its striking purple colour. When freshly cut, it exhibits a bright, vibrant shade of lavender, which deepens into a richer and more subdued shade of purple as it ages and is exposed to sunlight. This transformation offers a dynamic visual evolution that other hardwoods don’t, making it a talking point in any home.

However, it’s essential to note that, like all woods, there can be variation in shade based on where the wood was sourced and its specific subspecies. Some Purpleheart woods lean more towards a deep eggplant shade, while others might have a rosier tint.

Durability and Hardness: Built to Last

Beyond its beauty, Purpleheart is renowned for its hardness. On the Janka hardness scale, which measures the resistance of wood to wear and denting, Purpleheart scores an impressive 2,520 lbf. This makes it one of the harder hardwood options available, ideal for high-traffic areas in the home.

Its density not only makes it resistant to dents and scratches but also to pests. Termites and other wood-eating pests find it challenging to make a meal out of Purpleheart, adding to its longevity.

Working with Purpleheart

While Purpleheart’s density is a boon for durability, it does make the wood slightly more challenging to work with. It’s essential to use sharp tools when cutting and laying purpleheart, as it can be tough on blades. Additionally, due to its oily nature, it requires a bit more attention when sealing or finishing. However, with the right tools and expertise, Purpleheart can be laid seamlessly, offering a smooth, attractive surface.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

It’s impossible to talk about tropical hardwoods without addressing their environmental implications. While Purpleheart is not currently listed as an endangered species, overharvesting remains a concern. If considering Purpleheart, it’s crucial to ensure your wood comes from sustainable sources. Look for certifications from organisations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which ensures that the wood is harvested responsibly.

Cost Implications

Given its exotic origins and unique characteristics, Purpleheart is more expensive than some more common hardwoods. However, its durability means fewer frequent replacements, potentially saving money in the long run. When considering the cost, it’s also worth factoring in the unique aesthetic that Purpleheart brings—sometimes, the visual impact is worth the premium.

Care and Maintenance

Like all hardwoods, Purpleheart requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. Regular sweeping or vacuuming is essential to remove grit and dirt that could scratch its surface. Furthermore, while it’s more resistant to moisture than other hardwoods, it’s advisable to promptly clean up any spills to prevent staining or warping.

To maintain its vibrant colour, consider using UV-resistant finishes or rugs in areas that receive direct sunlight. Over time, with proper care, Purpleheart flooring can develop a rich patina that adds to its charm.


Purpleheart is more than just a hardwood; it’s a statement. With its vivid colour, incredible durability, and unique ageing process, it offers homeowners something truly out of the ordinary. While it does come with its challenges and requires responsible sourcing, the end result can be a breathtaking floor that becomes the centrepiece of any home. If you’re looking for a hardwood option that combines function with unparalleled form, Purpleheart might just be the wood for you.

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